City College softball loses by mercy rule to Long Beach

City+College+freshman+infielder%2C+Christal+Vierra+%28No.+17%29%2C+heads+home+after+Brianna+Portese%27s+base+hit+as+Vikings+catcher+Jenny+Santiago+prepares+for+the+throw+from+Melyssa+Rivas+%28No.+23%29.+Vierra+scored+but+it+wasn%E2%80%99t+enough+as+the+Vaqueros+lost%2C+17-6.

Matt Johnson

City College freshman infielder, Christal Vierra (No. 17), heads home after Brianna Portese’s base hit as Vikings catcher Jenny Santiago prepares for the throw from Melyssa Rivas (No. 23). Vierra scored but it wasn’t enough as the Vaqueros lost, 17-6.

STEVEN WELLBROCK, Channels Staff

City College was feeling the heat at Pershing Park on Saturday afternoon taking on Long Beach City College looking to remain tied for first place in the Western State Conference.

The Vaqueros saw their five run lead vanish and fell to Long Beach, 17-6.  The game only lasted six innings by the account of the mercy rule.

City College (9-8 overall, 3-2 conference) got the bats going in the bottom of the second inning when freshman Christal Vierra (No. 17) and second baseman Amanda Caras (No. 22) reached on two consecutive errors by Long Beach (11-10, 5-5). Two batters later, another error by Long Beach at home plate scored Vierra, giving City College its first run of the contest.

Vaqueros starting pitcher Celeste Acosta (No. 1) was coming off of her best outing of the season Tuesday in which she one-hit Hancock College en route to a 2-0 victory.

Alice Cen (No. 23) added two more runs with a single to right field and the Vaqueros finished the inning up five runs on three errors.

In the top of the fourth inning, Long Beach was able to capitalize on defensive mistakes and sent 16 batters to the plate. The Vikings scored ten runs on eight hits and took advantage of three errors made by City College.

“I’m pretty disappointed in how many errors were made,” team captain Brianna Portese (No. 7) said. “We never do that.”

The next inning, City College gave up three more runs on four more hits, digging themselves into a hole being down eight runs with three at-bats to go.

In the top of the sixth the Vikings scored three runs and were threatening to mercy the Vaqueros. The mercy rule ends the game when one team is up ten runs after five innings.

Down eleven runs in the bottom of the sixth, City College was threatening to score to extend the game, but came up just short falling to Long Beach by a score of 17-6 after six innings.  It was their first loss by mercy rule this season.

“The errors killed us today, which is really unlike us,” said head coach Paula Congleton. “And when Long Beach pushed us, we kind of fell apart.”

A season high seven errors made by City College was not a reflection of the team’s composure or defense. On the seventeenth game of the season, Coach Congleton expected more from her squad, calling it “a little bit ridiculous.”

Portese was playing in her first home game after sustaining a rib injury earlier in the season.  She believes the team didn’t play up to the caliber they are capable of.

“Coming back to play at home after the last away game we played was a pretty good feeling,” Portese said. “I’ve been waiting for what seemed like forever to come back so I was excited.”

City College looks to rebound in an away game against league rival Ventura at 2:30 p.m. March 20, at Ventura College.